SYNLawn® Hosts Hundreds of Guests at “Farmers on the Green” STEM Educational Event at Boys and Girls Club of Harlem
DALTON, GA, — SYNLawn hosted more than 300 guests at a private STEM educational event “Farmers on the Green” for New York City youth from several chapters of the Boys and Girls Club at the Boys and Girls Club of Harlem. The event was held in the outdoor area of the historic school building where SYNLawn New York had recently installed a soy biobased synthetic grass installation they donated.
“The SYNLawn New York team was very happy to support the Boys and Girls Club of Harlem with the artificial turf donation and our collaboration with them to bring the event to life,” said Anastasia Phillips, owner of SYNLawn New York. “All the praise for the success of the event goes to Dominique Jones and Melanie McKenzie-Layne. They were wonderful partners to continue our efforts making safe places for children to play, learn and engage with their community, all while learning how farming and rural community life affects all of us. I am very grateful to the Boys and Girls Club, and I continue to be impressed with all of their efforts.”
“Boys & Girls Club of Harlem is extremely grateful to be a recipient of this extremely generous donation and to have participated in this unprecedented event for our club,” said Dominique Jones, Executive Director, Boys & Girls Club of Harlem. “Ensuring that our kids have access to open, safe spaces is essential. The fact that we could open up our gates today so that kids in our neighborhood could not only experience the grass, but also make a clear connection on how rural agriculture affects their urban lives every day, was a tremendous opportunity for them.”
For this unique “Farmers on the Green” event, SYNLawn collaborated with the United Soybean Board, New York Corn and Soybean Growers Association, Indiana Soybean Alliance, John Bowne agricultural science program and FFA chapter from Flushing, and the Boys and Girls Club of Harlem to educate the children in attendance about science, sustainability and soybeans. There were six learning stations set up outside on the new installation from SYNLawn New York that offered interactive demonstrations and STEM activities, as well as fun games like soybean bag toss and a soybean spoon race to keep the children engaged. The educational activities introduced the children to how soybeans are used in products like SYNLawn to make them more sustainable. The educational demonstrations included:
- Ralph Lott, a United Soybean Board Vice Chair, who farms in New York, educated the children about how soybeans are used to make 1,000 different products, like SYNLawn.
- Jenny Frank, Next Generation Scientist for Biodiesel co-chair and graduate student at The State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, created environmental bingo and introduced the children to cleaner burning biodiesel that fuels New York’s vehicles and Bioheat® for buildings.
- The Indiana Soybean Alliance (ISA) had a unique soy necklace project for the children that allowed them to watch the soybeans grow.
- The New York Corn and Soybean Association demonstrated the importance of plants, like soybeans, to protect soil from erosion.
“I enjoyed participating in the Farmers on the Green event to help educate the children from the Boys and Girls Club chapters about how soybeans are used to create thousands of products and make them more sustainable,” said Ralph Lott II, United Soybean Board Vice Chair. “Since children in cities aren’t likely to be familiar with farming, I’m glad I was given the opportunity to discuss my experiences as a rural farmer and teach them about why agriculture is so important.”
The event also included a prominent guest to further enhance awareness about biobased products. Justin Maxson, USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development, met with the youth attending the event. He unveiled a new report, “An Economic Impact Analysis of the U.S. Biobased Products Industry,” which highlighted the benefits of the biobased industry in terms of sustainability and economic growth. After his remarks, he joined the children in touring the learning stations, and participated in the activities like the corn hole toss.